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How to prime your EB to Scoop up January talent

3 min read.

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Employer Branding, Talent Attraction


January always means there's oodles of talent suddenly available on the job market as people seek fresh career challenges. Here's how to optimise your employer brand to scoop up the best of it...

Along with the new fitness regime, new diet, dry January and countless other resolutions, the start of the year also brings an upsurge of workers looking to move on to a new challenge.

And when the pack shuffles, your employer brand can be the ace that gives you a winning hand when talent is the stake.

Employee review sites have become a pillar of the job search process, bringing new scrutiny to every job ad, so your reputation on them will have a huge bearing on who applies for your new openings. It highlights the importance of leveraging your employer brand to provide real transparency around culture and day-to-day experience.

Research says 70% of job seekers would not apply to a company with a bad reputation even if they were unemployed and according to TalentLyft, 80% of job seekers research a company’s employer brand before applying.

Furthermore, according to a survey by Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers say that company culture is crucial to them.

Authenticity is the key. Your talent audience saw through the buzzwords about “integrity” and “family” a long time ago. Getting candidates to look behind the green curtain means showcasing authentic aspects of the real employee experience, good and bad. Our much-vaunted Give and Get. It allows candidates to determine whether they align culturally with your organisation and whether they will find true purpose in the role you are offering to an extent that will see them stay for the long-term.

Craft your Give and Get

Your EVP (Employee Value Proposition) should illustrate what employees must be willing and able to give to flourish in the role, as well as the benefits and growth opportunities gained in return.

Your EVP ingredients list should include:

Vulnerabilities - Admit development areas or challenges being addressed.

Harsh Realities – Share the rigorous demands of the job and management expectations.

True Behaviours – Outline any cultural norms that may challenge new hires.

Strengths – Highlight the differentiators that motivate and engage employees.

Opportunities - Highlight advancement and rewards for performance

Paint a holistic picture for candidates to self-assess their fit and appetite for the challenges as much as the opportunities of your organisation.

Tell stories

Data tells us what. People tell us why. Supplement facts and figures with authentic stories to convey what it’s actually like to walk the aisles and handle the workload at your organisation. Leverage employee-generated content and testimonials highlighting why they stay and find meaning in roles despite the frustrations that may also exist.

It shows candidates how real people thrive in the environment rather than just faceless statistics and sterile value statements. It also resonates more deeply by tapping into emotions through personal narratives.

Beyond enhancing career sites and job posts, showcasing your employer brand on social media sites is now de rigeur. Highlight those employee journeys on LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram Reels to grab attention with engaging video content featuring social proof in the form of first-hand employee accounts of their personal “why” when it comes to your organisation. Everyone has a unique reason for what their workplace means to them and that is where you will discover powerful, emotive stories.

Provide a platform to discuss lessons learned, misconceptions confronted, and whether reality met or exceeded expectations after joining. Authentic peeks behind the aforementioned curtain lend credibility while glimpsing future career potential. You can even enlist new hires to take over your channels for a day (or longer) documenting their experience.

Repel the many

On first contact, the notion of repelling candidates seems counterintuitive. But just like any product, no organisation is right for everyone. The goal is to align the right people to roles rather than maximising applicant volume.

So, don’t shy away from being polarising if aspects of the job inherently demand long hours or continual learning. Flagging these realities allows recruits to self-select out rather than forcing a square peg/round hole hiring decision that is doomed to fail and cost more money in the long run.

The start of the year represents not just an influx of newly minted job seekers but also -  if you’ve used your employer branding effectively -  newly committed recruits. As you vet the torrent of candidates, take care not to compromise the cultural fit that attracts top performers seeking environments aligned with their norms and values.

Resist the temptation to “settle” on mismatched hires merely to fill gaps as attrition rises. While exacerbating turnover in the long run, these misfires also risk slowly eroding the very cultural fabric that fuels your organisation when difficult times arise.

So, stand behind the employer brand identity showcasing what makes your culture special, even if it means weathering longer temporary openings. Just as culture drives the employer brand, protecting that culture through deliberate hiring preserves it as a  differentiator and beacon for new hires.

Seize the opportunity of January

The influx of candidates every January provides fertile ground for bolstering your workforce. But effectively harvesting that talent requires an employer brand  that speaks to the underlying needs and questions defining their job searches.

Convey the authentic realities of the environment, good and bad. Showcase stories reflecting the truths that only current insiders can reveal. Describe the behaviours and mindsets required to thrive within norms that may prove uncomfortable for some but liberating for others.

Taking these steps allows recruits to meaningfully assess how they fit rather than getting lured in by slick campaigns bearing scant resemblance to reality. In doing so, you curate candidates aligned for success, and minimise attrition from the early departures of those experiencing culture shock.

The start of 2024 kicks off not just another calendar year but a chance to build a talent foundation for years to come. Is your employer brand prepared to attract top talent during the January job-seeking frenzy? If not, now is the time to get your authentic message front-and-centre during peak hiring season.

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